I’m A Rugged Maniac!

Back in March, I was participating in the #FurtherFasterFurther badge challenge and feeling like a total badass. I was on the top of my game  and achieving things I never thought I could do. One Saturday I was scrolling through Groupon and found an amazing deal on the Rugged Maniac mud run, so I obviously bought it and felt instant happiness! Poor Mike.

Fast forward to July 14th….race day. I had fallen off the running wagon, my cardio wasn’t close to where it should be and I was now nervous as I drove to the event with Mike. I didn’t know if I could hack the obstacles that were waiting for me, but thankfully we were doing the race with Mike’s childhood friend, Irwin and his two kids, Jess and Ryan… and this wasn’t their first mud run!

We arrived early to park, pick up our race packets and hang out for a bit. We were in the first wave for the day, and I was grateful for that since it was going to be in the upper 90’s!

Rugged Maniac NJ 2013

Top: Hanging out before the race – Bottom Left: Let the fun begin! – Bottom Right: 1/2 mile run. *Special thanks to Lisa for taking these photos!*

Our first obstacle was a wall that you had to jump in order to get to the starting line. I honestly felt a little intimidated by it, but I made it over on the first try, and I felt the doubt wash away and some confidence kick in. The first stretch of the course was a pretty easy 1/2 mile run before we hit our first obstacle, which were two A-frames that we had to climb up and over. From there, we headed into the woods and were greeted by ankle to knee-deep mud (which smelled awful) and some 5 foot walls to hop, like the one at the start gate. These were a little trickier to do because my feet and the wall were slippery with mud, but I made it over all of them on the first shot, which made me feel kinda badass again. From there it was more mud and then a football style tire run with swinging tires that you had to push through. Our reward for making it through was a water station, which ended up being the only one on the course!

Rugged Maniac NJ 2013

Top: A-Frames – Bottom Left: Tire carry & hurdles – Bottom Right: Sprint to the Finish              *Special thanks to Lisa for taking these photos!*

After our water break we headed onto around the motocross hills and toward the barbed wire obstacles. Thankfully the barbed wire wasn’t as low as I was anticipating, so I was able to crawl under it without army crawling. The downside to crawling? I wore shorts and didn’t have knee-pads so my knees got really cut up! Lesson. Learned. The next obstacle I remember was the slide! Nothing like sliding into a lake of muddy water to cool off!

Left: Fire jumps - Top Right: Barbed Wire - Bottom Right: Sliding into muddy water.

Left: Fire jumps – Top Right: Barbed Wire – Bottom Right: Sliding into muddy water.                 *Photos taken by Rugged Maniac Photographers*

I honestly don’t remember the order of the rest of the obstacles. I think the drainage pipes were next and I skipped that one. I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic and didn’t feel like having a panic attack if I had a hard time making my way back up the second pipe. I think it was this obstacle where my teammate Jessica’s hair got stuck in the barbed wire while making her way between pipes….OUCH!

Team After Photo: Ryan, Irwin, Jessica, Mike and Myself

We’re Rugged Maniacs!!  (Ryan, Irwin, Jessica, Mike and Myself)

Thankfully there were lots of sprinklers along the course so you could wash mud off your hands and out of your eyes. Although the one time I needed a sprinkler I couldn’t find one. I lost my traction going down a small mud slide and ended up going completely under the muddy water at one point. I wasn’t expecting it so I didn’t have time to hold my nose and ended up with mud in the my eyes and up my nose….talk about gross! I had to skip the obstacle after that because I couldn’t see.

A big thank you to the volunteer who offered me a clean spot on her t-shirt to wipe my eyes!

From there it was the fire jumps and then off to the final obstacle which I failed at. Between the mud in my eyes and the amount of mud on the wall, I just couldn’t pull myself all the way up. I was pissed I couldn’t make it to the top and across the cargo net, but I achieved a lot and I was proud. Mike and I waited for our teammate on the other side of the wall and then we sprinted to the finish line (and Irwin’s kids who ran off ahead racing each other to the final obstacle and finish line. I loved the competitive nature between them)!

Before & After

Before & After

The finish line had a water table which was a welcome blurry site. I grabbed two bottles and started rinsing out my eyes, while rehydrating. From there we showered off, headed to the truck to change and then went back to the after party for our post race beer, music and snacks!

Overall, the course was challenging but not awful. I loved seeing all of the team-work going on around us as well as all of the laughter. I can’t wait to do another mud run with this team….they were awesome!



Have you ever completed a mud run? Which one and what did you think of it?

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